Part 1 - Project 3, Projects

Project 3 – Who’s the Bossa?

In this section I have composed a short piece called “Who’s the Bossa?”. I wrote it for an ensemble of Latin percussion instruments. It takes the form of introduction, first section, second section, third section then there is a reprise of the first section. the reprise forms a four bar outro. In each section, I alter the position of the 3,2 or 2,3 rhythm performed on the Maracas and Claves. I then build the assisting or accompanying rhythm from the claves highlighting the rhythm played by the wooden instruments.

In section A, I introduce the Okonkolo and Bongos. This section is aimed at building up a sense of excitement in the piece. The okonkolo and Bongos build this section up with a typical call and response. It is not in it’s full Bossa Nova swing yet – as the emphasis is not highlighting the 2, 3 or 3, 2 rhythm played on the claves.

At section B the Okonkolo and Bongos carry on in call and response but they are now putting emphasis on the 2, 3 feel. The mechanisms I have used to emphasize the beats are articulated accents, intervals and rhythms. For instance in bar 20, I have used the higher line of the Okonkolo to highlight the clave rhythm. I have used semi-quavers to emphasise rhythm on beat 4 of bar 22.

In section C, the 3, 2 feel has been restored but has been placed one beat further forward. This then has a whole new syncopated feel. Both the Bongo and the Okonkolo lines are much more involved. I incorporated the use of retrograde in bar 33 to gain the new clave rhythm. This instrumentation and rhythm is being diminished back to the original rhythm at bar 38 as the original clave rhythm returns.


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